The nape of the neck is an intimate placement for a tattoo – you choose when you want to show off your ink and when you don’t – and a perfect spot for a mini tattoo design. The bottom of the hairline is easy to hide by letting your hair loose or wearing a collared shirt.
This is also a great area for a tattoo because it is relatively flat (depending on your chosen tattoo design, you may experience pain when the needle goes over the bones of the spine).
It’s also an area that gets minimal sun exposure – protecting your tattoo from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays is essential for the longevity of your ink.
“If you take care of them properly, back-of-neck tattoos age quite well and maintain their appearance for longer than other pieces. The back-of-the-neck doesn’t get much sun or wind exposure, plus having your hair down will help keep your ink looking pristine,”Tattoo Filter
Keep reading for design choices for back of neck tattoos and what they mean.
Back Of Neck Tattoo Ideas
Mini Butterfly Neck Tattoo
Butterflies are popular tattoos because they’re beautiful insects and they have a deeply meaningful symbolism to them that many people identify with.
“These delicate insects are deep and powerful representations of life. There is a veil of mystery, symbolism and representation of spiritual rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life,”
It is also believed by some that butterflies are winged messengers from loved ones who have passed.
Floral Neck Tattoo
When it comes to floral tattoos, there are so many choices to consider.
One of the most popular flower tattoo choices is the rose. A representation of love and passion, a single rose finds a perfect home at the back of the neck. The shape of the petals of the rose corresponds with the head, while the stem elongates the neck.
Lotus Neck Tattoo
Lotuses symbolize beauty, purity, and spiritual awakening, and are an apt representation of rising above difficult circumstances in order to bloom.
“Lotus flowers sometimes grow in the most polluted water but bloom beautifully and still create beautiful petal flowers,”Saved Tattoo
If you’re looking for a meaningful tattoo that represents rising above struggle and making it despite the conditions, a lotus tattoo is an amazing choice. Plus, it’s a flower that can be identified with minimal details, so you can opt for a fine line mini lotus tattoo on the back of the neck.
Heart Neck Tattoo
If you want to go super minimalist with your back of neck tattoo, a good option to add more to your tattoo without adding details and shading is to repeat the design, as we see in the tattoo example above.
This is also an ideal option for sibling or matching tattoos between friends; each heart can represent a person in the group.
Word Neck Tattoo
Whether you want the word written horizontally across the neck, or vertically along the spine, the back of the neck acts as an ideal canvas for a word tattoo.
This choice of tattoo can be made personal and meaningful to you. Opt for a word that you want to be reminded of daily. This can be a reference to a past event that made you stronger, or a word to remind you to be kind to yourself.
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Moon Phase Neck Tattoo
The changing phases of the moon have fascinated humanity since time began. Even now in our modern age, the phase that the moon is in is a sign to many to do certain things. For example, the full moon is a time to let go of what’s no longer serving you, while the new moon symbolizes a new beginning.
The back of the neck is a fitting place for a moon phase tattoo, as the length of this area aligns with a vertical depiction of the moon’s cycle.
A more minimalist moon tattoo, but still a meaningful body art option, is a crescent moon tattoo. This is perfect for someone who wants a mini moon tattoo that is easy to hide.
Wings Neck Tattoo
While the shoulders and back are often the first places people think of when it comes to tattoos of wings, for a simple version of this tattoo idea you could move them higher to the back of the neck.
Wing tattoos are symbolic of the divine and can be used as part of a memorial tattoo for a loved one who has passed on.
Sword Or Dagger Neck Tattoo
Swords were most notably used by warriors and soldiers in battles. While these instruments of war are now hung on walls and appreciated as antiques, the sword motif is a symbol of bravery and courage in battle.
A dagger is a shorter, more compact version of a sword, and is also a tattoo that represents bravery. You can add additional elements to your tattoo to further enhance the meaning of the design.
“When paired with a heart, rose, or skull, dagger tattoo designs often symbolize a range of meanings, from the duality of good and evil, the inevitability of death, lost love, or a romantic betrayal.”Next Luxury
These are just some designs to serve as inspiration for your back of neck tattoo. One of the best things you can do to make sure you end up with a design you love is to chat to your chosen tattoo artist extensively. They will be able to advise you on what type of design works best for your chosen placement.